|States offer reward for FLDS leader|
Attorneys general offer $10,000 for information leading to Jeffs' arrest
By Patrice St. Germain|
ST. GEORGE - The Arizona and Utah attorney generals are banding together to track down Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints leader Warren Jeffs by offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.
It's the first time that either office has posted a reward.
In June, a Mohave County, Ariz. grand jury indicted Jeffs on one count of sexual conduct with a minor and conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor.
If convicted, he faces four months to two years in jail.
Jeffs has not been seen publicly since January.
Cedar City private investigator Sam Brower said he doesn't think the reward will work.
"I think it's (the reward) a good thing and it's about time and maybe it will help bring some people out of the woodwork," Brower said. "But, most who may know where Jeffs is don't consider it a money issue. It's a spiritual issue and most who know will not be plied with money."
Brower said Jeffs has been elusive for years, traveling primarily at night with an entourage and hidden behind dark windows. Brower said on January 1, it was believed that Jeffs was sighted from an airplane flying over the YFZ Ranch in Eldorado, Texas.
The last previous spotting of Jeffs was in Colorado City in December 2003.
Utah Attorney General's Office spokesman Paul Murphy said as far as he knows, Jeffs is not facing additional charges, but that the FLDS leader could answer a lot of questions about the church trust. He said Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard also has questions for Jeffs regarding Colorado City Unified School District No. 14.
Both Murphy and Arizona Attorney General's Office press secretary Andrea Esquer said Jeffs should follow the lead of other men in the community who have been indicted on similar charges and surrender to authorities.
Esquer said her office has contacted the Utah, Texas and Colorado attorney general offices to help in the search for Jeffs and that the Mohave County Sheriff's Office has been in contact with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and law enforcement officials in Mexico. The Arizona Attorney General's office is also reviewing a copy of the flight log of the Cessna airplane belonging to the Colorado City School District.
"We believe if Jeffs is in Mexico, he is in Chihuahua (state), but the Attorney General in Chihuahua was just appointed and is planning a visit in September," Esquer said.
Although Murphy said Jeffs is not facing additional charges in Utah, Esquer wouldn't say if Arizona plans to file other charges.
As for the reward, Esquer did not think it was excessive even though Jeffs may only face two years in jail.
"He (Jeffs) has frustrated the justice system for a long time now," she said. "He does not feel that he has to answer to the justice system."
Esquer is hoping the reward will bring in some tips.
Anyone with information about Jeffs' whereabouts should contact the Mohave County Sheriff's Office at 800-526-1911 or 928-753-2141.
Originally published July 14, 2005
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